Sharon Butler blogs a selection of paintings on view at VOLTA New York art fair, on view March 5-8, 2015.
Butler comments: "This year plenty of good paintings are on view, though some of the figurative work seems out of synch with the most compelling contemporary work in that vein. Although well painted, many of the pictures come off as too earnest and overwrought, perhaps reflecting the difficulty of finding a new subject amenable to traditional painting techniques. The most impressive work in the show considers the relationship between physical and digital space. Artists continue to be fascinated by the distinction between what's real, what's on our screens, and how we make sense of the two worlds in our heads."
Stevenson reports: "While the trend towards abstract painting observed of NADA was perhaps gently in evidence at Pulse, the work presented by the fifty or so exhibitors there was more varied and less cohesive... there was plenty of abstraction, across a wide range. Eye-catching paintings included Clayton Colvin’s probing multilayered works shown by Beta Pictoris... Diana Copperwhite’s colorful but lugubrious canvases at 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, the acid-distressed oils of Sara Hoppe from Dresden’s M2A gallery, Ethiopian painter Tegene Kunbi’s strangely doleful striations of color at Margaret Thatcher Gallery's booth... But there was also a lot of representational and textual work on display. Freight + Volume... featured a sardonic Katherine Bradford painting referencing Guston and the explorer Ernest Shackleton, Erik Den Brejeen’s witty 1970s-throwback text-portraits, and one of Loren Munk’s vividly replete New York art chronicles. Adah Rose showed Brian Dupont’s text fragments set to aluminum, which evoke the tension and synergy between art and industry..."
Joanne Mattera photoblogs images of the wide variety of small paintings on view at the Miami Art Fairs in 2012.
Mattera writes: "Big paintings really did make an impact at the fairs, but it's eminently worth noting that there were a lot of strong small paintings and works on paper... After several days of the big picture, small was a welcome change of pace. I appreciated the opportunity to calter my physical relationship to the work--closer, slower, more intimate. The materials and expression are varied, but something many works have in common is the installation in multiple. It's an effective visual format with small works."
Another post by Mattera featuring paintings from Art Miami, Aqua Art, Context, Miami Project, Pulse and Untitled is here.
Joanne Mattera blogs an in-depth look at the painting on view at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.
Mattera comments: "There was more painting at ABMB than I can ever remember--and this was my seventh fair... The Tornabuoni Art booth dedicated to the work of Lucio Fontana was stellar. And wait until you see the geometry of the very contemporary Carmen Herrera (now 90-something) with the work of John McLaughlin and Jo Baer from the Sixties... I made a real effort to look beyond my personal geometric preferences. I even put some figurative work into the mix. The order is visually fluid, looping into and out of geometry, and there are some interesting material surprises. In another post I'll show painting from the other fairs--because there was a lot of painting everywhere.
In a two part post, Tatiana Berg photo blogs paintings on display at the Miami Art Fairs: Art Basel in post one and NADA and Untitled in post two.
Berg notes that the photos are her "personal highlights and completely subjective, biased favorites. As much as there is to complain about art fairs they remain a pretty efficient way to see a ton of work all at once, before you fill up and fall over and die from exhaustion... Getting to walk around and stumble upon a piece by an artist you love is fun in a celebrity-sighting kind of way, and occasionally you get grabbed by something you've never seen before."
Sharon Butler questions Barry Schwabsky's coining of the term retromodernism to describe small scale paintings that mix abstraction and representation "in a manner that evokes the spiritual and intellectual strivings of classic modernism," citing examples from the Frieze Art Fair.
Butler comments that "postwar-era abstract easel painting has been a touchstone among painters... for several years, not just at the recent version of Frieze. Rather than observing a new trend, Schwabsky is giving what is already a robust movement, and therefore self-evident, a new, somewhat derogatory, name. Indeed, many painters have appropriated the visual language of Modernist painting, but from a critical stance, not as a form of nostalgia."
Joanne Mattera photo blogs a range of paintings on view at the Armory Week art fairs.
She writes that the paintings on view encompassed "a range of esthetic and material expression. Here it includes the mineral pigments of Suzan Frecon, to the egg tempera and gold leaf of Mary Obering, to the puddled paint of Ian Davenport, to the fiber-optic fabric of Daniel Buren's sculptural painting."
Butler writes that "the 2012 Biennial has adopted a modest DIY aesthetic that you might see at an artist-run gallery in, say, Bushwick. Overall, I liked the human scale of the objects, the emphasis on the handmade (as opposed to professionally fabricated), and the way painting infused several conceptually driven installations."
Joanne Mattera's excellent art fair coverage focuses in on painting. Click through for a thorough look at the paintings on view in Miami.
Mattera notes that "There’s a lot of big at the fairs, but the small paintings I saw really held their own. I expect to see smaller work at the smaller venues, but it's always a surprise to see them at [Art Basel Miami Beach]."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.